Celebrating Bob Koenig’s Family of Neighbors

Derek Johnson Robert Koenig Arik JohnsonThree months ago today my brother Derek and I said goodbye to our uncle, Bob Koenig, in the church where he last served in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Although we didn’t spend as much time together as we did when we were kids and our aunt, Pauline (better known as Paulby), was in her prime, we made a point to check in on him from time to time over the years, especially since Paulby passed in 2018. Derek, in particular, would always visit him when he was in the Twin Cities area and made a point of calling every holiday.

Uncle Bob also had a family of neighbors who rallied around him in his final weeks and I have been waiting to celebrate them until, at least, his home was safely in the hands of new owners and they were beginning their new life in his beloved neighborhood. All of his neighbors are in my prayers often.

Not only did they make a habit of checking on him several times per day, one special neighbor in particular stayed overnight when Derek and I couldn’t get nursing coverage for him. The boy across the street came over to mow his lawn and make sure the exterior of his property looked the way Bob was so diligent to keep things up himself. Trips to the doctor after he couldn’t drive himself, meals brought to him and often eaten together, errands run on his behalf all over town … the list goes on.

Even in death, many of them made the 3+ hour roundtrip sojourn to our hometown the day after his memorial service for interment at his gravesite.

Robert A. Koenig

Uncle Bob was blessed, as so few of us can say we are these days, through this loving family of neighbors God surrounded him with and who cared for him like he was their Uncle Bob. On behalf of Derek and our whole family, thank you! I pray someone cares for you someday like you cared for your neighbor.

Here’s the memorial service where Derek and I got to celebrate Bob’s life and all that was in it. Try not to cry…

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